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Travel Southeast

Buttertea at Sunrise

A Year in the Bhutan Himalaya

by (author) Britta Das

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2007
Southeast, Regional, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2007
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2007
    List Price

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Often seen as a magical paradise at the end of the world, Bhutan is inaccessible to most travellers. Set against the dramatic scenery of the Himalaya, this beguiling memoir recalls hardships and happiness in a land almost untouched by the West.
When Britta Das goes to work as a physiotherapist in a remote village hospital, her good intentions are put to the test amid monsoons, fleas, and startling conditions. But as she visits homes in the mountains and learns the mysteries of Tantric Buddhism, the country captivates her very soul. Gaining insights into the traditions of the mystical kingdom, Britta makes friends, falls in love, and battles illness.
Throughout it all, as she writes, she worries about the "destructive nearness of technology" and fears that Bhutan’s charm and innocence may soon be lost. Still, Bhutan has endured for centuries, and there is no denying that the country has transformed her life forever.

About the author

Britta Das went to work in Bhutan as a physiotherapist under the auspices of VSO, the British aid organization. Buttertea at Sunrise, her first book, has been published in Britain, India, Germany, and Holland. Born in Germany, Britta now lives in Toronto, where she continues to work as a physiotherapist.

Britta Das' profile page

Editorial Reviews

... a memoir by Brita Das, a youngish Torontonian who was a Volunteer Service Overseas physiotherapist in the tiny country that until recently as all but closed to foreigners but now, also no doubt, grows more open all the time. She tells us a good deal about the country, its culture and customs, and a great deal about herself. So remote is the destination that this is only the second Canadian book about Bhutan.

Through the eyes of Britta Das, we gain valuable insight into the realm of Bhutan... compelling reading.

Michael Buckley

... fascinating and so very readable. An American or Canadian high school or college student would likely find the work interesting and valuable for its adventuresome account.

The University of Michigan Press